Recently, I fooled around with a new friend of mine. You know what I didn’t do, either before or during? I didn’t say anything that anyone would think of as “smooth”.
What I did say, after indulging in some nervousness about the fact that I had no idea how to proposition someone in a way that any reasonable person might describe as “smooth”, was something along the lines of this:
“So, for the record, I’m not actually very good at telling when people want me to make moves on them. But I would if you wanted me to, and I wouldn’t if you didn’t.”
Awkward, right? And yet, I would have to say things worked out in a way I thoroughly enjoyed.
Today, I have been thinking, yet again, about why I worry about not being things that I have never needed to be (e.g. “smooth”) in order to have awesome sexual experiences with people.
I’ve decided it might be useful for me (and hopefully for others) to review just how often I have been incredibly un-smooth and have ended up kissing people anyway. There are certain common threads in the language I tend to use to ask people if they are interested in kissing or having sex, and one of those common threads is that the language is never, ever “smooth”. It is generally varying degrees of awkward. Yet, my tragic lack of suave-ness has not, as one might think, and as I sometimes still worry about for reasons passing understanding, crippled my sex life. So, for your and my perusal, here is my awkwardness, and some conversations from some of the times it has not mattered in the slightest:
“Question for you.”
“Would it be okay if I kissed you?”
“I know you talked about just having recently gotten out of a serious relationship, and not really looking for anything new right now. I just… I keep thinking about kissing you, and you totally don’t have to do anything with that, but if you were interested in it, I would.”
“Does that… um…”
“I think I would like that.”
“So, I’m not sure if you’re asking me something, or just joking around, but, for the record, if you are asking me something, then pending further conversation about preferences and boundaries and stuff, I’m probably interested.”
“Let me see if my room is occupied right now.”
“So, I don’t know what your particular boundaries are or what you’re comfortable with, but, if you were interested, I think I would be comfortable having sex.”
“I am interested, but I would have to make sure Boyfriend was okay with it.”
“Okay, well, let me know when you get a chance to ask him.”
“Oh, I’ll just text him.”
“I have a question.”
“Um, no pressure, I’m definitely up for watching a movie, but, if you were interested, I think I would really like to… be sexual… with you*.”
“Oh. Yeah, okay. Let me just shower first.”
(Context: this is in a group situation where a lot of spontaneous making out is happening) “Just for the record, [Person I Do Not Have Previously Established Consent for Make-Outs With], I’m not not kissing you because I don’t want to. I just don’t want to violate your boundaries if you’re not interested.”
*she kisses me*
What you should take from this, Dear Reader, and what I’m trying to remember to take from it, myself, is that none of these people gave a flying fuck that I didn’t Just Make a Move or have some Incredibly Smooth (TM) way of propositioning them for kisses or sex. I have absolutely also had conversations where I asked if people were interested in making out or having sex and they said no, but I have never had one of those conversations and felt like the fact that I asked in an awkward-feeling way (which is almost always the case) was the thing that made them say no. Generally, my impression has been that people said yes or no based on (shocking though it may seem) whether or not they were already interested.
The take-away from this is that, while there may be people who want to be propositioned in a particular way or else they aren’t interested (many people, including my subconscious, sometimes, seem to think this is true, anyway), there are plenty of people in the world who really don’t give a fuck, and the time you spend worrying about being smooth is, if they are interested in you, time you could probably be spending in bed with them.
So stop worrying so much, Me and Also Probably Other People.
* Most Awkward Phrasing Award? I cringe when I look at this.
Note: An awesome commenter just added their own awkward proposition anecdote in the comments. If anyone else felt like contributing to the list, I would love to have a collection of awkward proposition stories in the comments.